Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blessed Beyond Measure

Today I'm absorbed with how undeserved and unmeasureable the gifts from God are to me.

If you're not very well acquainted with Psalm 103, I encourage you to start knowing it today!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, Bless His Holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits!
He forgives ALL my sins (I am becoming increasingly aware of how many there are!)
He heals ALL my diseases (my body is subject to the decay of this fallen world, and without His intervention I would not become well again from cold, flu, allergies, scrapes, bruises...)
He saves my life from the pit (that's where it was, and how it would be without Him!)
And crowns me with love and compassion (I am loved every minute! I am his precious child!)
He satisfies my desires with good things (oh, let me tell you, He does! The list is very, very long of how he satisfies the desires of my heart, soul and body)
So that my strength is renewed like the eagle's (every mommy knows we need strength that doesn't come from ourselves to do our job, and I can and do rely on His strength!)
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love (He shows me HOW to be a parent. I've experienced this compassion, this grace, this abounding love, and it is blissful! It is the way every child wishes to be loved!)

He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

That line is my testimony of the Lord today. He has not treated me as I deserve. I have had pride when I know nothing, and am like a fading blade of grass. I have made myself into God, taking control of my own life when He knows best. I have sought honor and glory for myself, when He is the only one deserving of it. I have misrepresented His name by judging others harshly, and by saying God could only love me if I acted/dressed/looked/worshipped a certain way. I have cursed, fornicated, stolen, committed adultery and murder (according to Jesus in Matthew 5). I have treated his little children harshly. Worst of all, I have neglected the greatest commandment, to Love. But He has not repaid me according to my sins. My life would look a whole lot different right now if he had. And that, my friends, is the definition of grace.

"His MERCY endures forever" appears 42 times and "HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER" appears 44 times in Chronicles, Ezra, Jeremiah, and the Psalms. Why the repetition? Because someone else experienced the same mercy and love I'm experiencing! Mercy is withholding the punishment/judgement/condemnation we DESERVE. Seems that would be enough. But no, after lifting the burden of sin through Jesus Christ, He heaps grace and love on top of what is left. Grace is being showered with the love, compassion, adoration, blessing protection, salvation I DON'T DESERVE.

In my house, I have a God fearing, God praising, God worshipping, God praying, God loving husband. And he leads the other 5 of us to the Lord's Table, His Word, and worship. In my house, I have 4 beautiful children, each of whom is really beautiful to look upon, even more amazing to know, with healthy bodies, intelligent minds, and happy hearts. I don't deserve that.

Last Sunday, a Christ follower said to me, "You have a beautiful family. It is difficult for those of us who have been through divorce to hear messages about being a solid family becuase it didn't work out for us. But your family is the depiction of what a family should be, and I can tell you really love the Lord." Her words hit me like a ton of bricks. Still does, as I re-type her words. You know why? Because it's true. And because I don't deserve it.

When Adrian and I got married, neither of us had ANY MORE certainty than anyone else that we would still be in love and wanting to do this thing called life together almost 8 years later. We didn't have any more assurance that the immensity of heartache wouldn't overtake the promise. When we had kids, we didn't have any more assurance than anyone else we would be able to have kids or that they would be healthy. Or whole. Or cute. We don't deserve it. We could have never earned it. We can never express our daily enjoyment. We are handling the very creation of God, and He wants us to see His heart through it.

He has given me "above all I could ask or think" -- better than I could have imagined, planned, created or orchestrated for myself. That means better than my best plan. Yes, He did. I'm giving more than thanks to God today. I'm giving wholehearted and humble worship, for He is good!!